Rush hour traf­fic gridlock

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Bumper-to-bumper Misery For Drivers - By John Nur­den and Molly Mile­ham-Chap­pell

Traf­fic lights stuck on red re­sulted in a junc­tion on the M20 be­ing grid­locked for about four hours on Tues­day evening.

It hap­pened at the Ash­ford South turn-off on junc­tion 10 where it meets the A20 at about 4.45pm.

A prob­lem with the lights at the junc­tion – with re­ports that they were stuck mostly on red – caused the mis­ery.

Traf­fic was backed up all the way to the Ash­ford/Faver­sham turn-off on junc­tion 9 and on the A2070 Ken­ning­ton Road to Yeo­man Gar­dens as engi­neers at­tempted to fix the prob­lem.

Traf­fic around the town was also grid­locked as a knock-on ef­fect, with driv­ers des­per­ate to find al­ter­na­tive routes in all di­rec­tions.

A crash in­volv­ing two cars at junc­tion 10 west­bound also added to de­lays with one lane of the car­riage­way blocked for about 30 min­utes.

Some driv­ers re­ported be­ing stuck be­tween the two junc­tions for an hour and a half, while am­bu­lances were also caught up in the de­lays.

High­ways Eng­land said the traf­fic lights had been fixed and traf­fic was eas­ing by 8.40pm.

The com­pany tweeted say­ing: “The traf­fic lights at J10 of #M20 nr #Ash­ford have been re­paired and are work­ing. Traf­fic and de­lays have eased, thanks for your pa­tience.”

The traf­fic lights on the round­about have been a headache for mo­torists for years.

Over Christ­mas, the lights were out for weeks, mean­ing driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans had to judge on­com­ing traf­fic on the busy round­about be­fore set­ting off, rather than use the sig­nals.

Mul­ti­ple sets of lights had pre­vi­ously been out in Septem­ber due to a power fault.

In re­cent months, res­i­dents have ex­pressed safety con­cerned, with lor­ries swerv­ing in and out of lanes due to the out-of-sync traf­fic lights.

Read­ers Jon Mor­ris­sey and Richard Lloyd, both from Ald­ing­ton, noted at the be­gin­ning of the year that the lights were only green for about seven or eight sec­onds at a time, mean­ing that only one lorry or a hand­ful of cars could pass through at a time from the sliproad which of­ten has long queues.

Hun­dreds of mo­torists have claimed time and time again that the traf­fic flows more smoothly with­out the lights on, and have called for them to be switched off for good.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall Shop­ping Cen­tre, Ash­ford TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­

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